Friday, 6 April 2018

Food: Hotel Du Vin Birmingham

Style: Bistro    Price: ££ (Main meal between £10 and £20)     Location: Colmore Business District

The venue

Charming Hotel Du Vin, located in the old Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, is a beautiful place. Head into the sophisticated reception area and head left to the bar or right to the bistro.


Last week I headed into the bar for a fantastic glass of English sparkling wine. If you haven't had English sparkling, I really do recommend it. Sparkling wine from this country has a slightly softer texture in the mouth, which I really enjoy. I much prefer it to prosecco and it's cheaper than champagne so you're winning all round! We tried Gusbourne, from a vineyard in Kent. This was absolutely lovely; another splendid English sparkling to add to the list. 

On into the lovely bistro, with its turn of the century French feel. We were shown the sommelier's table, which is where many lovely wines were waiting. They have a special vacuum system for shutting the wine and keeping it fresh.

Don't be scared to ask for wine recommendations or to try some wine; they're not called Hotel du Vin for nothing.

The food

I was a little late so I chose my food in a rush and went with my gut instinct. Salmon always catches my eye so I picked Severn and Wye Smoked Salmon Classic (£7.95). Excellent quality, silky smoked salmon was laid out and surrounded with what looked like breadcrumbs but was in fact a chopped egg garnish. I have never heard of this before but I enjoyed the breakfast-for-dinner feel it gave the dish. Hard boiled egg had been finely chopped along with parsley and red onion and the whole thing had been well seasoned. I gave it a good squeeze of the lemon wedge and tucked in. I really enjoyed the egg garnish as I'm a big fan of eggs and the salmon moistened it a little, though I still wanted something else to stop it being quite so dry. Those who don't like raw onion would struggle with this.

I'm really drawn to aubergine dishes at the moment so I chose Aubergine and Halloumi Parmigiana Bake (£10.50). I'm not vegetarian but I don't see why the absence of meat should stop me going for something that sounds delicious! Layers of aubergine and halloumi had been baked in a delicious tomato sauce and topped with lots more cheese. Aubergine and halloumi are both tricky to cook but the textures in this dish were spot on. The fantastic flavours and textures ensured I did not miss meat.

Our mains were served with a variety of sides: fries, creamy mashed potato, honey roast carrots, creamed spinach and my favourite: heritage tomatoes.

For those who want some meat or fish, you are more than well catered for. Steaks, pork belly and fish stew were all popular around the table.

For pudding, I was very excited to see Ile Flottante (£6.95) also known as floating islands: a soft meringue with praline, floating in creme anglaise. After a relatively virtuous starter and main I felt like something tooth-rottingly sweet and luxurious for my pudding. This was deliciously sweet and gooey. They custard was silky and delicious, the meringue soft and sweet. I did eat this a little too quickly and felt a bit sick afterwards but it was totally worth it.

All in all, the menu at Bistro Du Vin felt exactly as it should: indulgent, tasty and fresh. The bistro is beautiful, romantic and atmospheric, the staff are knowledgeable and discrete; don't forget to ask for those wine recommendations.

Hotel du Vin and Bistro, Church Street

Photos by Helen

Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes, thanks Delicious PR

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